Foundation changes name to cut ties with slavery

The Sir John Cass's Foundation has become the Portal Trust

The education charity the Sir John Cass’s Foundation has changed its name because of its founder’s association with the slave trade.

The charity, which was founded in 1748, has rebranded to become the Portal Trust.

The trust said the murder of George Floyd last year and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement had prompted it to reflect on the life of Cass, a former Tory MP who was senior figure in the Royal African Company, which traded slaves in the 17th century.

The name of Cass, who died in 1718, has also since been removed from other institutions including the former Cass Business School, which is to become the Bayes Business School later this year.

The trust, which has awarded £17.6m in grants over the past 10 years, supports education for young people in London through grant programmes for individuals, schools, and organisations.

Richard Foley, chief executive of the trust, said the new name better reflected the charity’s vision.

“Our new brand name of the Portal Trust, which has evolved from our vision to ‘support all’, is a neat summary of all our ideals,” he said.

“For nearly 300 years the foundation has pursued ideals of supporting the most disadvantaged within our local community of London.

“Our new brand name allows us to continue to do that with renewed vigour without reference to our founder’s historical connections with the transatlantic slave trade.”

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